Monday, December 12, 2005

Moving From One Scheme to the Next

It is interesting to see how some individuals will move from one scheme to the next and still be able to lure investors, sometimes even boasting about how they've tangled with the law.  Vladislav "Steven" Zubkis was charged with 36 counts of mail/wire fraud and money laundering in the Southern District of California related to two construction projects that did not pan out.  A San Diego Union-Tribune story (here) discusses other problems Zubkis has had with some of his business ventures, including a current venture involving a luxury time share in Baja California that may not exist.  The SEC obtained a judgment against Zubkis in 2001 related to a fraudulent scheme involving the Stella Bell Corp., including an order to pay over $21 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest (see Litigation Release here).  Zubkis filed for bankruptcy in October (joining the rush to avoid the revised bankruptcy laws, no doubt) in a move the SEC claims is designed to avoid paying the earlier judgment, for which the Commission has already seized a 75-foot yacht (see Litigation Release here).  Zubkis is being held after a bail hearing in which the government asserted he was a flight risk, and it's unlikely he'll be able to meet any significant bond requirement because that will draw the SEC's attention to the assets to pay the earlier judgment. (ph)

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